Pioneering Triumph: Việt Nam's 3D Revolution Against Bone Cancer

VIETNAM
VIETNAMImage Source: Vietnam Net

Synopsis:

Vinmec International General Hospital achieves a groundbreaking feat by employing 3D-printing technology to replace both the pelvis and part of the femur in a single surgery. The innovative artificial bones, meticulously designed by Vietnamese doctors and engineers, undergo rigorous testing to ensure optimal performance. This triumph not only saves lives but also accelerates patient recovery. The success marks a milestone, offering hope to bone cancer patients in Việt Nam and laying the groundwork for future 3D-printed bone implant projects.

Article:

In a remarkable medical breakthrough, Vinmec International General Hospital in Việt Nam proudly announces a significant advancement in bone cancer treatment. The hospital's adept medical team undertook a complex surgery, replacing both the pelvis and part of the femur using state-of-the-art 3D-printed artificial bones.

The patient, Lê Đình Thuận, 63, hailing from Thanh Hóa Province, presented a rare and intricate case of bone cancer affecting the pelvis. His metastatic cancer had intricately invaded the hip joint's entire structure, encompassing the pelvis, joint capsule, and upper femur.

Given the complexity of the disease, previous recommendations from various hospitals leaned towards a surgical approach involving the removal of one side of the pelvis to safeguard the patient's life. However, Thuận, cognizant of the potential risks and diminished survival rates post-surgery, consistently declined such interventions.

Upon examination at Vinmec Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Centre, doctors determined the necessity for surgery to excise the malignant tissue and reshape the pelvis and femur bones, aiming to restore the patient's mobility and walking ability.

Professor Trần Trung Dũng, Director of Vinmec Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Centre, emphasized the urgency of the surgery to prevent the tumor's progression. The intricacy of the case required a team of surgeons to design a custom artificial bone implant promptly.

The main challenge lay in selecting the appropriate material and devising a method to graft the artificial bone effectively, recreating the pelvis's shape and function after excision. Unlike previous solutions involving screws or Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) implants, the chosen method needed to create a robust biological bond with the pelvis, ensuring post-surgery stability and functionality.

After an intensive two-week effort, involving testing nearly 100 prototypes under various simulated daily movement scenarios, the surgical and engineering teams successfully devised the optimal design for the case. The selected structure simulated the pelvis's morphology with a lightweight honeycomb shape, ensuring the artificial bone's weight was less than half that of real bone. The surface in contact with the healed bone featured micro-holes to stimulate bone cell growth, enhancing stability over time.

Crafted from biocompatible medical Titanium alloy, the 3D-printed artificial bone exhibited remarkable strength, capable of withstanding over 10 times the load of real bone while maintaining elasticity and durability comparable to young adult bone tissue.

Certified for its mechanical properties, the artificial pelvis design adhered to the rigorous standards set by the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, Polytechnic University, and the Industrial Testing and Inspection Centre, Institute of Energy Mechanics, and Geological Mines. Following verification, the design was sent to Germany for production, adhering to European CE medical implant standards.

For the femur, the surgical team utilized a modular-designed titanium artificial femur, a technology routinely deployed at Vinmec Hospital for the past three years. This expedited process, taking only one week for manufacturing and importing product samples from abroad, allowed the surgery to be performed promptly, approximately one month after hospitalization.

The eight-hour surgery, encompassing various specialties, including vascular surgery, gastroenterology, urology, and blood vessel intervention, concluded successfully without complications. The artificial bones snugly connected with the patient's healthy bone, restoring muscle-tendon attachment points and nerve blood vessels.

Within two days post-surgery, patient Thuận could independently sit up, and within ten days, he could practice walking with crutches for distances up to 50 meters without difficulty. This shortened recovery time, one-third compared to some reports on artificial pelvis replacement, is a testament to the success of the pioneering surgical approach.

Conclusion:

The triumphant application of 3D-printing technology in treating bone cancer at Vinmec International General Hospital marks a historic moment in medical innovation. The successful simultaneous replacement of the pelvis and upper femur using meticulously designed artificial bones offers hope to bone cancer patients in Việt Nam. Beyond the individual case, this achievement lays the foundation for future projects, including Vinmec and VinUni's endeavor to develop 3D-printed bone implants tailored specifically for Vietnamese patients. The fusion of medical expertise and cutting-edge technology exemplifies the potential of 3D printing to transform lives and reshape the landscape of healthcare in Việt Nam.

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